Louis Turner is one of the men named on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen, but his service record has not been identified.
Louis Henry Turner was born in July 1879 in Bottesford, the second of four sons of William and Martha Turner. William Turner was a gardener who came from Ashurst in Kent, where he was born in 1853. Martha (neé Patch) was from Norton, Somerset, born in 1849. They married at Christ Church, Battersea, on the 19th August, 1875. After Martha’s death (after 1911), William Turner remarried, leaving Bottesford to live at Hayes, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
By the 1881 census the family had moved to Bottesford and lived on Easthorpe Road. The 1891 census also records them as resident on Easthorpe Road. There were now four sons, all at school: Frederick W. (aged 12), Louis Henry (aged 11), Ernest (aged 10) and William (aged 8). There was also a boarder named William Sopp, a 21 year old groom from Kirdford. Sussex. William Turner gave his occupation as a gardener.
Kelly’s Directory for 1908 records that Mr William Turner was the private gardener to the Rector of Bottesford,Canon William Vincent-Jackson MA JP. He also worked for the Duke of Rutland and earned the rare distinction of having a variety of chrysanthemum named after him. A W.Turner listed as a bell ringer in the belltower of St Mary’s, Bottesford, was probably this same William Turner, father of Frederick.
In 1901 Henry Louis Turner was aged 22. He was living in St Pauls, Deptford and working as a clothier’s assistant. By 1911 he was aged 31, living with his mother at 6 Leamington Villas, Westbourne Park and was working as a shop assistant. The exact circumstances are uncertain, as his father William was his father was still living in Bottesford in 1911.
No military records have been identified, although his name is on the Bottesford service list and he would have been within the age-range for conscription. There are Medal Index Cards for at least six Louis Turners who served, respectively, in the Manchester Regiment, Royal Field Artillery, Kings Own Shropshire Light Infantry, York and Lancaster Regiment, Durham Light Infantry and the 102nd Training Reserve. The last mentioned might be considered. Information about this man is held by Forces War Records, whose information makes an association with Hounslow, London. He was issued with Silver War Badge B102723 on the 24th February 1919, after serving four years from the 9th December 1915 to the 14th January 1919, without leaving the British Isles. However, it must be repeated that none of this information can safely be assigned to the man from Bottesford.
Life after the war
Louis Turner married Doris Mabel Warr at Hammersmith, London, in the first quarter of 1917. His name is recorded on the London Electoral registers 1832-1965, his address at 161 Mortimer Road Willesden. In the 1939 population register, Louis Henry Turner, born 6th July 1879, a gent’s clothier and salesman, lived at 161 Mochmor Road, Willesden. With him were his wife Doris Mabel, born 7th August 1896, and daughters Enid Adams (b.26th February, 1919) and Gladys Wilding (b.13th October, 1921).
A man named Louis H. Turner died in 1946 in Hendon, London. He would have been 67 years old, assuming this is the Bottesford man born in 1879.
We are grateful for the information that we have had from Mrs Barbara Whitton (Ernest Turner’s granddaughter). Thank you also to Jonathan D’Hooghe for his efforts in tracing Louis’s military service.